Like the surrounding temples, Sakuramoto-bo is a centre of Shugendo mountain worship (mountain asceticism). The main draw here is a large weeping cherry tree in front of the temple. Sakuramoto-bo’s numerous statues - such as that of En no Gyoja, the founder of Shugendo - are worthy of interest, but to my mind the most interesting room is the Ohiroma or large hall for meditation. This hall has a wealth of intriguing details - a large dragon painted on the ceiling, calligraphy on the inner wall, the Yoshino mountains outside to contemplate during meditation, statues and Shugendo paraphernalia to the front of the room. If you have the time, I recommend meditating in the centre of the room, facing the mountains.
Some of the best times to visit Sakuramoto-bo are during the Flower Festival (around 8 April) and the Autumn Festival, when the temples in Yoshino become extra-lively and merry.
Established his throne with the auspicious dream of cherry blossom, the Emperor Tenmu had ordered to build the temple, together with the Empress Jito. It is a training hall where Shinto and Buddhism are syncretized. Having Jinben-daibosatsu (important cultural property of Kamakura Era) as the honzon (principal statue), it enshrines numbers of temple treasures including the Statue of Seated Shaka Nyorai (important cultural property of Asuka-Hakuho Era), and the Nenjibutsu (the small statue of Buddha always kept beside the person) of the Emperor Tenmu. In Shoten-do, Japan's oldest Shoten-son (Nandikesvara, which is a Buddhist pantheon)perceived by En no Gyoja is being enshrined. By dedicating the octagon "ema" (the votive tablet of horse) that brings various connection of people, one prays for the accomplishment of a good match.
(8:00 - 17:00)Accepting only Japanese
●Address/1269 Yoshinoyama, Yoshino, Yoshino
●Admission/Adults 500yen; Elementary School students and younger free
◆Access/From Yoshino ropeway Yoshinoyama Station: - 23 minutes on foot from the station.
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